QCOSTARICA – About 29,000 microenterprises disappeared in 2019, according to the latest figures by the National Institute of Statistics and Census of Costa Rica (INEC).
There are now some 367,911 microentreprises, small businesses that employ a small number of employees, usually fewer than 10 people, 7.3% less compared to the 396,796 reported the previous year.
Another decrease occurs in the employment generated, going from 678,938 in 2019 – including the owner of the activity – to 585,426 in 2020, which represents a reduction of 13.8%
The main challenges of most of these small businsses are access to loans, access to training, simpler procedures in State institutions, and diversifying products or services.
This even despite the fact that 200,536 microentrepreneurs received some support due to Covid-19; for example, half of them received at least one government bonus check.
But that does not ignore the fact that 91.6% of microenterprises have not received any type of support, either because they have not requested it or it has not been provided.
Of the existing microenterprises, the highest participation is in services (41.8%), followed by the industrial sector (21.3%), the commerce sector (20.9%) and finally the agricultural sector (16 %).
In services, the area where the most businesses are found is in food and transportation services.
Though the Covid-19 pandemic hit hard the small business sector, it also triggered the creation of 22,592 micro-businesses, made up of one person mostly, derived from the need for income.
And it seems that, at least from the intention, these would not be temporary, since of all the microentrepreneurs, 96 out of 100, plan to continue with their business in their current activity.